The Dungeness nuclear power station on the Kent coast shut down one of its reactors for five months last year because of a Fukushima-style flood scare, it has emerged. EDF, the Big Six energy company that operates the power station, closed the reactor on 22 May last year to work on a new protective wall after alerting the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) that it faced a so-called category 1 incident, described as having “the highest possible safety significance”.Friends of the Earth climate campaigner Guy Shrubsole said: “With Dungeness perched on shifting shingles next to rising seas, this is a stark warning of the risks climate change poses to our infrastructure”.“It’s astounding that the shut-down of EDF’s reactor wasn’t better publicised and calls into question the transparency of the nuclear industry,” Mr Shrubsole added.
Independent 18th March 2014 read more »
A British nuclear power reactor was shut down for five months over fears of a Fukushima-style meltdown. One of two reactors at Dungeness power station on the Kent coast was closed by energy giant EDF last year after concerns that its shingle bank flood defences could be breached during a catastrophic weather event. The flood defences were reviewed in an official government report in response to the Fukushima disaster and they were found to ‘not be as robust as previously thought’.
Daily Mail 19th March 2014 read more »
The extreme rainfall, strong winds and high tides of this winter have exposed the vulnerability of the British coastline to erosion and flooding. It is therefore clearly in the public interest to know about any measures that are being taken by the nuclear industry to avert potential flooding of the country’s nuclear reactors, most of which are built on the coast. EDF, which is largely owned by the French Government, has done nothing illegal in playing down the lengthy outage at Dungeness B due to the re-building of the station’s flood defences. But doing the bare minimum in terms of public information does the company little credit. EDF should know that it has a moral as well as legal duty to be as transparent as possible when it comes to safety.
Independent 18th March 2014 read more »
EDF and its investors can expect substantial returns for building the UK’s first new nuclear reactor in a generation that are set to be far higher than other projects, a cross-party think tank has said. The £16bn new reactor at the Hinkley Point C site in Somerset, set to come online in 2023, has been supported by the government guaranteeing a loan to finance the project and setting a minimum price of £92.50 for each megawatt hour of electricity it generates for 35 years. The analysis comes at an awkward time for the government, which is trying to play down an EU investigation into whether its support for EDF constitutes illegal state aid that has the potential to torpedo its methods for bringing forward a fleet of new nuclear reactors to replace ageing capacity.
Business Green 18th March 2014 read more »
The UK’s newest nuclear power station for 20 years will see far higher returns for investors, including EDF, than any other project, according to new research. The report, which comes from cross-party think-tank Carbon Connect, said that investors were likely to see returns of up to 21% over the lifetime of the project.
London Loves Business 18th March 2014 read more »
The “completely insane” economics of the nuclear industry are likely to kill off plans for a third nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast, one of Britain’s leading environmental campaigners forecast yesterday. The proposal to build Sizewell C was probably destined to “die under the weight of its own massive, white elephant’s weight,” said green heavyweight Jonathon Porritt. He predicted an eventual “collapse of political will” caused by the “double hit” of colossal costs to the taxpayer and the consumer. Mr Porritt was speaking ahead of a talk he is to give in Suffolk tomorrow to members of Together Against Sizewell C (TASC).
East Anglian Daily Press 18th March 2014 read more »
Hartlepool nuclear power station was forced to shut down a reactor on Saturday because of a fire. Investigations are continuing into the causes of the fire, which started at around 1.30am on Saturday morning. Manchester Councillor Mark Hackett, chairman of the Manchester-based Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA), said: “The NFLA is concerned about this fire incident and we are asking for a full, open inquiry into how it occurred and what were the risks to the plant. “This is yet another example of the potential risks of nuclear power and of the dangers of building new nuclear power stations. “We urgently ask the government, the nuclear regulators and the plant concerned why incidents like this keep happening.”
Morning Star 18th March 2014 read more »
New nuclear and cutting green taxes are the top two priorities Conservative Party members would like to see in tomorrow’s Budget, according to a poll by Conservative Home. Engineering deals for more nuclear power stations topped the list of Budget priorities for party members, with an average score of 7.72 out of ten. Cutting green energy taxes and levies was second, with a score of 7.50.Both priorities were also top of a similar poll the political blog ahead of the Autumn Statement, although they were in reverse order with scores of 7.98 and 7.55.
Utility Week 18th March 2014 read more »
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) is ploughing £750,000 into new equipment that will boost efficiency at the UK’s Low Level Waste Repository. The cash has paid for three new fork lift trucks at the repository, near Sellafield, which will be used to offload waste containers arriving at its railhead and manoeuvre them around the site. The repository takes low-level radioactive waste from decommissioning sites around the UK for permanent disposal.
NW Evening Mail 18th March 2014 read more »
Public Meeting in House of Commons on 10th March. Chair and Introduction by Kate Hudson, General Secretary, CND Speakers: Rik, a member of Kick Nuclear: “Fukushima: What’s been happening the last few years.” Dr. Paul Dorfman: “The impact of Fukushima on plans for new nuclear.” Geoff Read, Fukushima evacuee: speaking about “The nuclear evacuees’ experience.” Dr. David Lowry: “Nuclear’s insecurity of supply” and “The truth about evacuation zones as a lesson from Fukushima.”TBC: Swiss Parliamentarian, on behalf of Green Cross Switzerland: “Plans for Swiss nuclear phase-out.”
Fourman Films 11th March 2014 read more »
The Swedish government is set to approve the transfer of ownership of 834 kg of separated plutonium from the Swedish nuclear power company OKG to the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, NDA. OKG has applied to the government for permission for the transfer. On March 14 the regulator, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, announced that it supported the transaction in a consultation brief to the government. The main part of the plutonium, 833 kg, comes from reprocessing of 140 tonnes of spent fuel from the Oskarshamn nuclear power plant under a contract from 1969. The spent fuel was sent to Sellafield between 1975 and 1982. It was not reprocessed until 1997 and the plutonium was to be returned to Sweden as MOX fuel to be used in the Oskarshamn 2 and 3 nuclear power plants.
International Panel on Fissile Materials 18th March 2014 read more »
Sometimes, the Chancellor must feel like he just can’t win. When he introduced the UK’s top-up carbon tax – the carbon price floor – environmentalists called it costly and ineffective. Now that he’s announced it’s going to be frozen, the same groups are accusing him of abandoning the UK’s climate change agenda. So while Osborne’s expected decision to freeze the carbon price floor probably won’t have much of an immediate impact on the future of the UK’s coal plants, it continues the government’s approach to getting the most out of the UK’s fossil fuels while it still can. Symbolically, it’s yet another step away from the prime minister’s promise to lead the “greenest government ever”.
Carbon Brief 18th March 2014 read more »
Statement by Margaret Hodge:You only have to look at [the Public Accounts] Committee’s work on everything from GP out of hours services to tax avoidance to see how vital whistleblowers are to protecting taxpayers’ money. It is extremely worrying therefore that half of workers stay silent about misconduct, possibly because they fear what will happen if they speak out. Government must do more to support those workers that try to protect taxpayers’ money.
Parliament 18th March 2014 read more »
Around 60 Greenpeace activists from 14 countries entered France’s Fessenheim nuclear power plant this morning to send the message that the ageing plant should be closed. Our people unfurled a banner next to the Fessenheim Number 1 reactor with the message “Stop Risking Europe”. Others activists are on top of the reactor and on its spent fuel storage pool. They’ve flocked from France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic, Sweden, Slovenia, Austria and as far away as Turkey, Israel and Australia.
Greenpeace 18th March 2014 read more »
CNN 18th March 2014 read more »
France24 18th March 2014 read more »
Bloomberg 18th March 2014 read more »
Thirty four Greenpeace activists were under arrest in France today after breaking into the country’s oldest nuclear power plant to demand that it is closed.Up to 90 protestors stormed the Fessenheim installation, in the east of the country close to the city of Mulhouse and the Swiss border. They hung anti-nuclear banners from a dome of the plant with one reading: ‘Stop risking Europe’. Hundreds of riot police arrived at the site following the start of the protest, at around 5.30am, and arrests were made later in the morning. Fessenheim, which is considered unsafe by many, is run by energy giants EDF, which is set to build two reactors in Britain.
Daily Mail 18th March 2014 read more »
Japan – Fukushima
The unskilled and destitute are being targeted to finish the clean-up job at Fukushima nuclear plant.
IB Times 18th March 2014 read more »
Workers from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant rallied Friday outside the headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power Co., complaining they are being forced to work for meager pay in dangerous conditions. The group of about 100 demonstrators shouted and pumped their fists in the air as they railed against being cheated by contractors hired to find recruits to clean up the shattered site and surrounding area.
Japan Times 14th March 2014 read more »
More than 100 protesters rallied in London on Saturday against nuclear power following the third anniversary of the Fukushima disaster in Japan. Protesters held placards and banners calling for “no nuclear power”, “protect mountains, rivers” and “no new nukes” with signs in English, French and Japanese. As the march progressed through central London, the crowd chanted “no more nuclear” and “no more Fukushima”. The organisers hoped the march would send a message warning of the dangers of nuclear power as well as remembering the victims of the Fukushima disaster on 11 March 2011. Shigeo Kobayashi, a spokesman for Japanese Against Nuclear UK, told the crowd decisions about nuclear energy were being made on the basis of politics and economics rather than people and safety.
Guardian 18th March 2014 read more »
At last it seems realistic to hope for a resolution to the unnecessary crisis surrounding Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme. In large part that is because attitudes towards my country are changing. It is now recognised that Iranian scientists have mastered nuclear technology – and it is widely accepted that the knowledge we have attained cannot be wished away.There is also a growing appreciation that Iran does not have any interest in nuclear weapons. True, we live in a volatile neighbourhood. Yet we have always been clear that pursuing nuclear weapons – or even being wrongly suspected of doing so – would put our national security in jeopardy.
FT 18th March 2014 read more »
US – Solar
Goldman Sachs has set an estimated date for when they believe residential solar power becomes competitive with existing electric across the U.S. It’s relatively soon. They put grid parity at 2033.
Business Insider 18th March 2014 read more »
Goldman Sachs says declining prices of solar plus battery storage means that by 2033 homeowners will no longer need to be on the grid in the US. And that will happen sooner in expensive electricity states like New York and California.
Green World 18th March 2014 read more »
Local authorities are to be stripped of powers to set higher standards for the energy efficiency of new homes. Under a concession to the building industry included in the Government’s Deregulation Bill, the same regulations will apply across England, with no opportunity for councils to set more stringent conditions for better insulation and other energy-saving measures. The powers being abolished were introduced in the Planning and Energy Act 2008, which began as a Tory Private Member’s Bill championed by David Cameron as part of the “greening” of his party before the last election. The Association for the Conservation of Energy, a trade body, said that many authorities would be forced to lower their standards, which would push up energy bills for occupants of homes built to the new lower standards. The association added it was “disgraceful” that a reform that had helped to persuade the public that the Conservatives cared about the environment was being abolished to please developers.
Times 19th March 2014 read more »
I think it’s time to call it. Renewables and associated storage, transport and digital technologies are so rapidly disrupting whole industries’ business models they are pushing the fossil fuel industry towards inevitable collapse. The game is up for fossil fuels. Their decline is well underway and it won’t be a gentle one. Of course they won’t just be gone in few years but once the market and policy makers understand what’s happening, it will become self- reinforcing and accelerate rapidly. Markets come into their own in situations like this. They rarely initiate change, but once they’re racing down the hill, it’s time to jump on board or get out of the way. It’s an ugly and brutal process for those involved, but it gets the job done quickly.
Renew Economy 19th March 2014 read more »